QUETTA: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in the provincial capital of Balochistan on Sunday to visit the victims of a bomb blast that claimed the lives of fifteen people including eight army personnel.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Gen Bajwa attended the funeral prayers of the martyred personnel in the terror attack, and also visited and inquired about the well-being of the injured at CMH Quetta.
The army chief said that state institutions should cooperate and play its role in the fight against terrorism, while the war against terror will continue vigourously till peace is completely restored across the nation.
He said the nation will celebrate Independence Day with full zeal and fervour to honour the sacrifices of the martyred who laid down their lives lives for a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.
Governor and Chief Minister Balochistan, Interior Minister, Corps Commander Quetta, and other dignitaries also attended the funeral prayers. Later, he was briefed at the Southern Command Headquarters about the terrorist incident.
At least 15 people including the personnel of the Pakistan Army were killed and over 40 others wounded when a powerful blast hit an on-duty army truck at Pishin bus stop in Quetta on Saturday.
Following the blast, the army chief had strongly condemned the incident, saying that it was an attempt to mar Independence Day festivity. “Our resolve won’t succumb to any challenge,” Gen Bajwa was quoted as saying.
According to the provincial government, the blast was loud that it was heard all across the city, smashing the windowpanes of nearby buildings. A suicide attacker on his bike came close to the army truck and blew himself up, it said.
No one has claimed the responsibility for the attack yet. The powerful blast hit as a paramilitary patrol passed by on the road, Balochistan home minister Sarfraz Bugti said, adding the patrol may have been the target.
“According to the information we have received so far, there are around 15 casualties, people who were martyred, and around 40 people were wounded,” Bugti said. He said a state of emergency had been imposed in the city and all hospitals were on alert.
Quetta’s chief of bomb disposal squad, Aslam Tareen, said initial information was that a suicide attacker rammed a motorcycle into a military vehicle.